Travis County adds 43 new COVID-19 cases, now totalling 597

Emergency medical sites being planned if surge overwhelms hospital capacity

Talk 1370 Newsroom
April 08, 2020 - 6:47 pm

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AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Local officials say 43 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Travis County in the past 24 hours, raising the total of confirmed cases to 597.

Austin Public Health officials say 75 of those cases are currently hospitalized. Earlier Wednesday, officials said 28 of those patients were on ventilators.

Wednesday afternoon, city and county officials detailed plans for a network of emergency medical facilities in the event that existing services are overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.

"We hope that this surge plan is not necessary, but we are preparing for the worst," said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "We must continue to stay home and practice physical distancing. The future of our healthcare system is up to our daily individual behavior, and it is going to take all of us to fight this virus."

There are roughly 4,300 available hospital beds in Travis County, with local hospitals currently operating at about 50 percent capacity.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler emphasized the need for continued efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

"I know this is hard," Adler said. "As we do this physical separation — people are locked up at home. We’re not seeing our friends... Make sure you’re calling people who are alone. Make sure you’re doing more than just texting."

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